Well, it’s almost the end of our first full week back at Stepping Stones after the summer break and it has been, by no means, a dull one. We decided to ease ourselves in gently last week seeing as we only had a two day week!!! (It’s a hard life!) We did feel as though it was important to let the children find their feet and explore independently, especially as we have had quite a few new starters which has been lovely.

There has been a noticeable change in the weather with rain and cooler temperatures, which has actually worked really well with this half term’s topic which is ‘Autumn’. We have split the 7 weeks leading up to November into autumn related themes and this week, as a nice introduction, we have been talking about ‘all things autumn’. This has given us wonderful opportunities to explore outside and discuss the changing weather and changes to the environment around us. We were very lucky to notice a local farmer out in his tractor at the beginning of the week and the children loved watching it moving up and down the field.

During Forest School on Wednesday Harriet organised a brilliant ‘Mini Beast Hunt’ which the children absolutely loved! We were lucky enough to come across some crazy looking critters and took a good look using the magnifying glasses. It’s not only children who learn here at Stepping Stones, as Harriet, Mandy and myself scratched our heads trying to work out just how many legs centipedes and millipedes have (answers on a postcard, thank goodness for Google!).

We have also been out looking for acorns, we’ve painted with pine cones, made leaf creatures, and have created large collages using tractors and farm animals (toy ones, not real ones!). This has led to us talking a lot about how colours can change when mixed together so we have been doing lots of mixing and experimenting making autumnal colours to create some marvellous paintings. As well as encouraging discussions about how and why trees change colour this time of year.

This half term we are looking at some specific books which we think support the autumn theme nicely. Naturally, we couldn’t help but start with ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.’ Not ones to do things in halves we have read the story, sang the story, danced the story and done Bear Hunt yoga! It’s been great fun, the repetition is so good for the kids and gives them the perfect opportunity to learn the stories and join in which is fab for their literacy and language development.

And that’s it, in a nutshell, if you’ll excuse the pun! 🙂 It’s been a really lovely first week back and we are very much looking forward to next week’s theme…’Planting and Growing’.